COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
politics

U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security

137 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

137 Comments
Login to comment

'Japan’s Kyodo news agency quoted Onaga as saying after his State Department meeting that he had warned the U.S. officials “that the construction of a (replacement) base will not be implemented smoothly if things keep going as they currently are.”'

We're seeing the language start to change already! You notice how it's gone from "impossible" and "never happening" to slowly but surely, "won't go smoothly"?

In any case, the longer it takes to move, the longer they'll be in Futenma for locals to complain. They can send their complaints to Onaga, or just to the mirror. If they want the bases moved because of noises, dirtiness, and crime (far less per capita than committed by Japanese, I might add!), then they should stop blocking movement to the agreed upon relocation. Because that's where it's going or nowhere, PERIOD.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

Officials from the U.S. State and Defense Departments told Takeshi Onaga in a meeting in Washington that the United >States and Japan shared “an unwavering commitment” to building a new base for U.S. Marines on the island

This is the diplomatic, polite way of telling somebody to "get stuffed and go home".

4 ( +10 / -6 )

@ smithinjapan: ... then they should stop blocking movement to the agreed upon relocation. Because that's where it's going or nowhere, PERIOD

The initial agreement was relocation to Guam. double PERIOD ??

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Rome has spoken.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Didn't that genius Congressman halt the relocation to Guam by pointing out that Guam might capsize if there were too many soldiers there?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

What if Japan dont need US protection?

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

TheTiger: "What if Japan dont need US protection?"

It does, more than ever. In fact, until today the issue of relocation hasn't been really discussed at all, and Okinawans haven't made a peep since it was discovered China was putting weapons on the reclaimed land or when a ship went by the Okinawan islands. And now Onaga is changing his language from "impossible" to, "won't go smoothly".

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

SenseNotSoCommon,

Rome has spoken? Whose oracle is that? Caesar's of Roman Empire or its modern equivalent? Can the U.S. citizens claim that their country is a role model of exercising democracy, freedom and human rights which other countries must emulate?

During the Cold War ear, the U.S. military authorities in Okinawa used to say bases would be withdrawn or at least reduced when the threat of communism was no more.

Now, it's become more than apparent that the U.S. doesn't want to reduce its colossal military footprint in Okinawa by closing even one Marine base, betraying its true, wicket intention to use Okinawa as its permanent military colony.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Yes, Henoko will have to deal with the new base, but the US is not going to give up Okinawa (and Japan is unable to negotiate its way out of the reversion treaty, at the moment) without some major reforms. And therein lies the ultimate problem: article 9. Without serious security reforms that will allow Japan to become an actual partner of the US instead of a defense-subsidiary the US (and Japan, too, for that matter) is not going to feel secure enough to dramatically draw down its forces.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

TheTiger,

What if Japan dont need US protection?

Good point. It don't!

There used to be - and probably still is - a protection racket in some parts of London. A guy would come up to you as you were parking your car and offer to "protect" it for you.

If you didn't pay the "protection" money, when you got back to your car, you would find the windows smashed and the stereo and tyres missing.

Whether Japan needs it or not. The USA has to have someone to pay for their bases. And so Japan pays "protection money." (omoyarikin)

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Issuing threats. How diplomatic.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Without serious security reforms that will allow Japan to become an actual partner of the US instead of a defense-subsidiary the US (and Japan, too, for that matter) is not going to feel secure enough to dramatically draw down its forces.

But nobody, the Okinawans perhaps least of all, are willing to put in that 2-3% of GNP that Japan would need to become a more equal partner, so it's main support to the US is inevitable as a floating base.

U.S. military authorities in Okinawa used to say bases would be withdrawn or at least reduced when the threat of communism was no more.

In case you hadn't noticed, Communism (of a sort) is rising again.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Okinawa people will should be respected as they have right to live stress free like the rest of Japan. US should build missiles bases on some remote island near Japan and this should give enough security ...

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I think Japan needs to build some bases on Hawaii since they would be fundamental to protecting the U.S.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Don't give in Onaga-san. Stand firm

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

What new base? They are just expanding the current one and closing one.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Takuma7,

What new base? They are just expanding the current one and closing one.

Who are you kidding?

They are creating a NEW base. If i built an extension to my house as big as the "extension" to Schwab, i would quite rightly call it a NEW HOUSE.

Let's not mince words. It's a new base.

As for closing the Futenma base, Okinawans will believe that when they see it. So far, they have had to deal with nothing but broken promises. Nakaima promised that Futenma would be closed in FIVE YEARS. That is roughly four years from now. The US military doesn't say they are going to close Futenma in this time.

It is just more BS.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

sorry it's not a new base just adding to current one. USA will leave Futenma once Schwab is done. JSDF might like to have Futenma.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Okinawa people will should be respected

US has never respected the Okinawa people and enslaved them since 1945. Sadly relocation of base will become the reality.

US should build missiles bases on some remote island near Japan

It is thoughtful and balanced post. Many pro base posters biased as without the US bases, Okinawa will become the chopping board. In fact, Okinawans will become BBQ toasted sesames, when the missiles with multiple warheads rained over their land. Mainlanders will not lose the single night of sleep over flowing blood river of Okinawans.

One single missile with multiple war heads can wipe out Okinawa from world map within a few minutes.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Wake up, people. China is a building a large military base about 300km from the disputed islands. And they've been building islands, yes, building islands on top of reefs for a future airstrip.

I mean, I've never seen a country as large and as wealthy as Japan just stand complacent as their biggest threat gets closer and closer to them, and stronger and stronger than them, but without a base in Okinawa and without a base in Okinawa that also will house another country's military, Japan might as well just roll over and give up these disputed islands.

China is reclaiming 2000 acres of land saying it's theirs and no one is stopping them. Yes, China, the same country who others are entrusting to create a more trusted international bank. China is not building the islands to create a nature preserve.

Bottom line is, you need a base on Okinawa. It's sad war is a real thing still today, but it is and China is knocking on Japan's door. You can hold hands and protest the base, but god forbid the poop ever hits the fan and history has shown its possible, you'll all be counting on that base.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

@Bertie: There used to be - and probably still is - a protection racket in some.....

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

I used to explain Omoiyari Fund nature and how many billion $s Japan pay to USA for Japan letting Bases in Japan, but I am going to write Protection Racket from now on/ I believe $2billion for this year again.

But Onaga could meet someone in USA. He was not ignored/ Haven't watched media last night. Maybe US moght scrao Futema as Henoko is not extension of Futema. If so, hope one or two Japan Inc create their factories there so that they don't have to go some other countries in SE Asia. At least they don't need Japanese language conversation classes in Okinawa/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Guam. Go to Guam, as agreed, as stipulated, as requested, as wanted, as should be. Guam. Not wholly paid for by Japan... BUT, the pivot to Asia, the geopolitical landscape dictates that Okinawa is going to be home to the U.S. Marines for some time yet. Moving away from populated areas, good. Yet, if Okinawa truly wishes to remove every last American armed contingent from the prefecture, then Japan herself is going to find that she has to take on the responsibilities that are left needing someone to step into. THIS SEES FURTHER EROSION OF article 9 and a drive towards active engagement. Every action, here the removing of US Marines, sees a reaction, here the exposure of Japan to armed conflict. Pros and cons. Checks and balances. Wrongs and rights, nothing is ever back and white in politics, international relations.

http://thediplomat.com/2014/02/should-the-u-s-move-the-marines-to-guam/

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Glad that's over. Onaga heard it straight from the horses mouth. Nice try. Back to the drawing board?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The best place for a US base is Senkakku

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@Kiyoshi: That's actually rather funny.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Kiyoshi: That's actually rather funny.

I second that notion! LoL-

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@harvey pekar That is Mr. Carter's "China threat" Spratly Campaign to build up military partnership in Asia for the US pivot. Pentagon said at the congressional hearing in January this year.that Obama's Asia pivot is based on the premise that the US could leave from Afghanistan and Iraq but as the situation of both Central and African Command got worse, they said Pivot to Asia was difficult to do. Mr. Carter's hectic work is for this very reason. China will not start a war. Forget China threat and help Okinawan's 70 years long unfair burden. I am one of those who have closed eyes not see the reality in Okinawa and I am ashamed of it. And please don't mix up the security issue with Henoko because these are different issues to find a solution.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Can someone explain me why China - or any other country - would invade Japan?

This is a total mystery to me: no natural ressources and a so homogeneous population impossible to tame. So what...?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

if the US moved the base off Okinawa to a nearby island instead, it will be spared the brunt of war and both countries still have the American military as a deterrent

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@BertieWooster

There used to be - and probably still is - a protection racket in some parts of London. A guy would come up to you as you were parking your car and offer to "protect" it for you.If you didn't pay the "protection" money, when you got back to your car, you would find the windows smashed and the stereo and tyres missing.Whether Japan needs it or not. The USA has to have someone to pay for their bases. And so Japan pays "protection money." (omoyarikin)

OMG! Seriously? That is a bad example. You are trying to call the USA criminal, while the Chinese go nuts in the South China Sea. Japan does not have the capabilities to protect itself from the Chinese, nor does any other country in Asia, and you are trying to compare the States to some mafia enforcer even though it has to keep balance in Asian until now????? That is an insane and ridiculously unfair comparison!!!!!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

both countries still have the American military as a deterrent

Ah yes, the US military as a detergent.

Lots of bubbles and no substance.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

how did China get so powerful? US corporations, moved and brought their business to china, and left US citizens without jobs, and the US became a huge consumer of "made in China products," (betrayed for $$$)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qaoz_eXM4k

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It is time to go to the United Nations and declare that the USA has a military occupation of Okinawa against the desires of the Indigenous population.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Bertie. Please speak on this nonsense that the USA should be compared to the mob? Please. I want to see proof of these ridiculous accusations. China is acting like a huge bully in a playground and this is obvious. So, please elaborate how the USA is the mafia bully in this. Strong words need to have facts supporting them. I ask you to bring evidence. You are insulting so many young Americans who are here in Asia by calling them the enforcers. There is a common desire to make sure that peace is kept and that things do not happen. I suggest you pick up a rifle and walk a beat before you turn your nose up at the USA with snide unfounded remarks. Because of the USA not England or any other country, there has been peace for the last 40 years. Now China is acting like a huge bully and you want to compare the USA to the mob? China's actions are the ones that could lead to an Asian war, not the USA. The USA is recognizing every country's right. China is the one stepping on them. You should compare the Chinese to the mob right now because of their actions which are dangerous and selfish.

I had respect for you before this.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

sandiegoluv,

Would you call what happened in Vietnam peace?

The Middle East, the "War on Terror." I don't see much peace as a result of US military activity. i see tremendous force with advanced weapons and WMDs, torture and drones pushing resistance underground.

Time and time again, the USA has a chance to diffuse tension in an area and they just add to it.

Without the US bases, no one would attack Okinawa. There is NOTHING to gain. A few fields of sugar cane, some bananas, mangos, goya and lots of soki soba. What would happen if China attacked Okinawa. They would lose all their world trade. No one would do business with them.

All that Okinawa would mean for the Chinese would be extra mouths to feed. They don't need any more of those! They have more than enough already!

China is not a military threat. China is an economical threat for the USA and Japan who are basically broke.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Ah yes, the US military as a detergent.

Lots of bubbles and no substance.

. . . But you sleep well each night for the past 40+ yrs you've lived in Japan, right? You prob make good money, live in a peaceful neighborhood and eat well too.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@sandiegoluv "...on this nonsense that the USA should be compared to the mob?"

Not nonsense at all but true comparison.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It is time to go to the United Nations and declare that the USA has a military occupation of Okinawa against the desires of the Indigenous population.

So let it be. Great suggestion Yuri. Meanwhile, Onaga got his answers from both Tokyo & DC. Maybe he'll come to his senses. Good riddance--

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This is the typical cop's answer to the civilian he has abused: " We are protecting you." It does not wash.

The Philippines got rid of U.S. bases and they were and are faced with the same "threats."

No more U.S. military garbage. Bases out of Okinawa.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

there has been peace for the last 40 years

Vietnam, Gulf War 1, Afghanistan, Gulf War 2, not to mention all the other deployment of troops ... I'm sure all the people who have been killed by US drones in recent years are so glad there was peace.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

“The United States’ troop presence in Okinawa is fundamental to our treaty commitment to the defense of Japan,” the statement said.

While the United States’ troop presence might be or might not be fundamental, this statement doesn't justify the construction of a huge new military facility in Henoko at all. I suppose that's the arrogance of power, but we don't even get a meaningful explanation for why Henoko is important and I don't really think there is one.

The Henoko scheme is an old idea from the 1960ies and with a harbor included rather an upgrade then a relocation. It is apparently very convenient for the US military, but nobody has ever given a convincing explanation for why it is necessary to protect Japan. Even within the US military many have said it is not essential and that there are other ways to achieve the same.

The only reason that the Henoko project has advanced so far is because the US has a history of bullying Okinawa and a history of ignoring basic democratic principles if it is about protecting its own interests in locations it considers "minor" on the international political stage.

The US has turned Okinawan into a military colony and the Japanese government, secretly and against all democratic rules, has promised to keep it like that.

This makes two powerful bully boys who are ignoring the will of the Okinawan people.

Everybody who is serious about democracy should support Onaga and the Okinawans people and help them with stopping this kind of discriminating policies.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The Philippines got rid of U.S. bases and they were and are faced with the same "threats."

Wrong. There were no threats. China's navy wasn't an alarming factor in the S. China Sea early 90's. A couple key US bases closed as a result of the collapse of the soviet union.

The Philippines didn't get rid of the US.

Subic's closure was due to how the cold war ended. But with A. Carter reassuring Aquino that their partnership is "Ironclad" then the only phrase that comes to mind is wise ole' MacArthur's, "I Shall Return".

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

“The United States’ troop presence in Okinawa is fundamental to our treaty commitment to the defense of Japan,”

If Japan does not wish the treaty their are many ways to abrogate it. If Okinawa does not want to be associated with Japanese treaty commitments they have options as well. I guarantee you that the US won't intercede in a civil dispute. Go ahead and blame the US for honoring a commitment, but understand that there is another party to this treaty. Perhaps it is time for the treaty to expire.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think Japan should invest more in its military and be able to protect itself, without needing the help of the US, as the Americans are very unreliable.

Japan should also - and this might be controversial - get its own nuclear missiles and point them at Peking.

Japan needs to stand up to the Chinese bullies, because relying on the US is fraught with danger.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Bill Adams:

Relying on any other entity that has their own priorities and goals is fraught with danger. I agree that Japan should pay its own way now in its own defense. The three countries mentioned so far are so interconnected economically that all three stand to lose tremendously if any kind of disagreement escalated. Japan and China need to be friends and good neighbors. I choose to see this as neighbors arguing about the tree over the fence and not a thousand years of pissing contests in east Asia.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I want to tell you those who still believe in the American government: they lie. The U.S. government is NOT exercising democracy, freedom and human rights even to their own people. Their lawyers twist their own law and the court judges knowingly allow their lawyer to lie. The whole system has corrupted. For the defense for Japan? When they can protect their own people's safe, they are careless about the Japanese people. Just don't trust them. They are getting closer and closer to China. They can turn the gun point at the people in Janan. VERY SOON.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Go ahead and blame the US for honoring a commitment, but understand that there is another party to this treaty. Perhaps it is time for the treaty to expire.

Exactly. If Japan is really a sovereign modern nation (as they claim to be), then put on the pants to wear. Cause when the treaty expires & GI's pack up, I'm gone too.

the Americans are very unreliable.

Don't bash too hard. I wouldn't say, "very unreliable".

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Oops! I want to make a correction on my previous statement. I meant to say, "when they (the American government) can NOT protect their own people's safe, they are careless about the Japanese people."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wc626: . . . But you sleep well each night for the past 40+ yrs you've lived in Japan, right? You prob make good money, live in a peaceful neighborhood and eat well too.

All those who'd rather live in North Korea than Japan, please raise your hand.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@ Hideo Watanabe

China will not start a war.

No? China will just keep pushing, stealing, and antagonizing until finally some country stands up to them. China will then claim that that country started the war.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The USA will just keep pushing, stealing, and antagonizing until finally some country stands up to them. The USA will then claim that that country started the war.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

While I will admit that the USA has done a lot of damage and has not learned its lesson quiet yet, I would not compare it to the Nazi. That is just over emotional nonsense.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It does, more than ever

One may ask why that is. It is at least partly because Japan is perceived as not having adequately made amends for WW2 (It certainly doesn't comprehensively teach it in schoolbooks- and politicians regularly deny wrongdoing) This in turn emboldens China's nationalist agenda as it allows them to preach Japan is unrepentant. This is turn fuels the LDPs agenda that China is a threat - and Japan should expand its military and weaken article 9. So one might argue that Japan needs protection because of its government - and not because of China. If anyone would like to read how the people of Okinawa have been exploited by Japan (and the US since 1945) I recommend Stephen Turnbull's excellent book: "The Samurai capture a king: Okinawa 1609"

0 ( +3 / -3 )

turbotsat: All those who'd rather live in North Korea than Japan, please raise your hand.

I'll be counting the downvotes as "Noes".

We are at 4 "Noes".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

turbosat,

All those who'd rather live in North Korea than Japan, please raise your hand

What on Earth does this have to do with the price of fish?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

They are creating a NEW base. If i built an extension to my house as big as the "extension" to Schwab, i would quite rightly call it a NEW HOUSE.

You'd be wrong too, you are sucked in by the rhetoric and not the reality. You extend your house and call it new? Whatever, anyway to justify your point, even when it's off the mark.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/31/robert-eldridge-the-other-side-to-the-okinawa-stor/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

0 ( +3 / -3 )

US bases have been holidaying in Okinawa for 70 yrs. The bases are occupying 18% of Okinawa Island's land mass for bases plus housing, shopping centers, schools, golf courses, beaches, mariners and other leisure facilities. They are more likely holiday resorts. The primary schools of servicemen are larger than residents primary schools.

Unlike middle east Marines, there is no stress about being hit by road side sucide bombs. Okinawans are friendliest, gentlest and forgiving people. They tolerated for exploitation, crime against their community and unbridled grabbing of their land.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@heynong "They tolerated the exploitation, crime against their community and unbbridled grabbing of their land."

The situation is slowly changing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"residents, many of whom associate U.S. bases with noise, pollution and crime"

They should associate U,S.bases with their freedom.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

They should associate U,S.bases with their freedom.

Sorry, but even as I live here and am for the base extension at Henoko this statement is totally out of line. Okinawa and Japan are not the US and this kind of thinking does not belong here. Keep it in America please.

I said all along that Onaga is going to get turned away and not see anyone with any power to do anything.

He wasted the taxpayers money on a trip to nowhere, and now he will come back with his tail between his legs.

They tolerated for exploitation, crime against their community and unbridled grabbing of their land.

Tolerated? What are you blathering on about?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Serrano (Jun. 05, 2015 - 09:34PM JST):

They should associate U,S.bases with their freedom.

The boss of a gang could say that: "Turf residents should associate our presence with their freedom because we are protecting them from attacks by rival gangs."

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

US bases have been holidaying in Okinawa for 70 yrs. The bases are occupying 18% of Okinawa Island's land

Holidaying? You're so credulous. Those guys can be deployed in harms way @ any hr of the day on a moments notice on behalf of Japan's defence. 18% of the land? Christ-that's less than 1/5.

Unlike middle east Marines, there is no stress about being hit by road side sucide bombs.

US forces are always deploying, relieving and re-deploying constantly. Bet your bottom dollar some of those Marines in okinawa have been to the ME once or twice. . . And prob got some trigger time too-

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The American "blessing" on Okinawa.. They killed one third of the population during their needless invasion. Taking over and keeping the best farmland resulting in starvation among the civilians. Absolute destruction of industry and transportation. Reducing my family to begging to go through the American garbage to feed the family. The absolute control of Okinawa for 27 years turning the Okinawa people into second class people. Destroying our proud Okinawa culture to please the Yamato people. After "reversion" the US military does what it pleases despite protests from the Okinawa government. They take over accident sites involving Americans. They can take over any part of Okinawa for "security" reasons. They control vast amounts of air and sea space. Now they want to destroy the last of the coral reef in the name of "progress".

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

@ Yubaru JUN. 05, 2015 - 07:28PM JST

Wow, that Washington Times article by Robert Eldrige you linked was a perfect example for the arrogant and pejorative attitude of some US military related folks towards Okinawa.

It is a string of unsubstantiated claims about communist conspiracies and made up numbers of demonstrators.

Actually it was so full of clumsy spin that it could have been written by on of the pro-base folks posting here.

But the funniest part was when Eldrige accused „peace groups" of calling Futenma “the world’s most dangerous base,” when it originally was a Donald Rumsfeld statement. Kind of embarrassing for Mr. Eldrige.

It speaks volumes how Eldrige defames the democratic process in Okinawa, plainly ignoring that there is a clearly expressed will of the Okinawan people. I believe that such an explicitly presumptuous and insulting attitude can only be understood in the context of the ongoing US and Japanese tradition of looking down onto Okinawans.

One thing is very clear, for Eldrige, just like for Abe, Okinawa is not a subject, but an object, a commodity that happens to be in his sphere of power.

Or one should say, happened to be, as I've heard that Eldrige was fired by the Pentagon after he appeared on a Japanese right-wing TV channel and handed US military surveillance footage of demonstrators to his right-wing buddies, so that they could select targets for their bullying sprees.

Thanx for the link, Yubaru.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

BertieWooster: What on Earth does this have to do with the price of fish?

(in reply to): turbotsat: All those who'd rather live in North Korea than Japan, please raise your hand.

(in reply to): Wc626: . . . But you sleep well each night for the past 40+ yrs you've lived in Japan, right? You prob make good money, live in a peaceful neighborhood and eat well too.

(in reply to): BertieWooster: Ah yes, the US military as a detergent. Lots of bubbles and no substance.

It's not evident?

What made (as in created and maintained) the difference between West and East Germany during the Cold War, and between North and South Korea from the start of the Korean War up to now?

It was the Allied military, and primarily the US military. Subtract the US military from either of those equations and you've got only the Soviets' satellite state of the German Democratic Republic, in the west, and the Chinese satellite state of the DPRK, in the east. No South Korea and no West Germany. And additionally, no Japan. Russia wouldn't have stopped at the Kuril Islands if the US had said, "Hey, we're tired of this. Just take it.", and declined to occupy Japan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Manchuria

The rapid defeat of Japan's Kwantung Army has been argued to be a significant factor in the Japanese surrender and the end of World War II, as Japan realized the Soviets were willing and able to take the cost of invasion of its Home Islands, after their rapid conquest of Manchuria and South Sakhalin.

You might be in disagreement, but hard to see how you could be unaware, of how the US military affects the 'price of fish'.

So, would you rather live in North Korea, or Japan?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I would have preferred a Japan that was not destroyed and re-written to suit the USA.

Subtract Wall Street and American capital in the 1930 and you would have never had the Soviet state in the first place.

That's the problem with such superficial analyses. You need to keep following the chickens and eggs right back to the beginning.

THe US was not standing ground for the sake of Japanese people, let along the Okinawans. It was standing grounds for its own interests in Asia over and above the Japanese and Okinawan people. Those that weren't killed off became orderlies on "Aircraft carrier number one" in Asia.

I'm sorry but it's a mistake to portray the USA's interests as benign and magnanimous.

Had Korea remained part of the Japanese sphere, had the Americans not insisted on crushing the Japanese Empire, you would have never had North Korea, Korean and VIetnam Wars, Cambodia, Pol Pot or any of the rest of the killing fields. It would have been better for Asia.

The US should/should have stuck to its own side of the Pacific.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Luce-A: I would have preferred a Japan that was not destroyed and re-written to suit the USA. ... Those that weren't killed off became orderlies on "Aircraft carrier number one" in Asia. ... I'm sorry but it's a mistake to portray the USA's interests as benign and magnanimous. ... Had Korea remained part of the Japanese sphere, had the Americans not insisted on crushing the Japanese Empire, you would have never had North Korea, Korean and VIetnam Wars, Cambodia, Pol Pot or any of the rest of the killing fields. It would have been better for Asia. The US should/should have stuck to its own side of the Pacific.

Are you kidding? .... US was invited into Japan when Japan raided Pearl Harbor. The USA's actions WERE "benign and magnanimous", to orders of magnitude, over the actions of Japan against civilians in East Asia ... "benign and magnanimous" does not have to mean 'altruistic', and why should it? Japan got off way easy post-war compared to their actions during the war, only because the peoples most affected weren't left with the wherewithal to cross the seas around Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Something never seen in local press. There are plenty of folks who think the same but are never heard because of the politics of the situation.

Around Futenma, some think the people of Nago are being selfish. "People think: 'This base here is dangerous, so why are you prioritising the sea over people's lives?'" said one lady living near the base.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They killed one third of the population during their needless invasion.

On that point I actually disagree. But Okinawa should've been fully returned to Japan in 1972 (minus the bases which are just dumping grounds for Agent Orange) or given the option of autonomy / independence. They have been royally shafted in various forms since 1609. (When their new Shimazu overlords forced them to sign documentation, amounting to a "confession of war-guilt", and vassal-status)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

YuriOtani: "The American "blessing" on Okinawa.. They killed one third of the population during their needless invasion."

Sure, the Americans should have just left the Japanese alone to continue their rampage, lol.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Serrano the US should of neutralized the airfields and bypassed Okinawa. So you want me to thank the Americans for killing so many of my family? For taking our family farm? What I see coming from the Americans is unbelievable arrogance. What happened to American self determination? Why does America want to destroy the last of the coral reefs? The truth is the USA is not democratic at all but is an Oligarchy run for the wealthy. Japan is the puppet of the American wealthy. You have disrespected Okinawa for 70 years. The more the USA forces the new base the more resistance to their bases. So how is America different from China? China has a much lower prisoner rate than USA, so are they more free?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Readers, please focus your comments on what is in the story.

You have disrespected Okinawa for 70 years.

Agree on this point, while Japan has direspected Okinawa for 400

1 ( +2 / -1 )

YuriOtani: "The American "blessing" on Okinawa.. They killed one third of the population during their needless invasion."

"They"? Coming from an American I am surprised. What should we say about the needless deaths during the Japanese occupation of Asia?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So you want me to thank the Americans for killing so many of my family

So you want everyone here to feel sorry for you as you live in America and complain about life in Okinawa,of which you know nothing about since you live in Oklahoma?

Yuri you are one hypocritical female.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Whatever anyone thinks about it, the headline of this article refers to Henoko as a "New Base:"

U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security

Whether it's a new base or a massive extension to an already existing base, according to the Ryukyu Shimpo, 83% of Okinawans are against it:

http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2015/06/06/18826/

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What is the opinion of the Ryukyu Shimpo on the issue?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What is the opinion of the Ryukyu Shimpo on the issue?

Read it. The local press will never report anything about the bases that puts them or makes them look positive even in for slightest thing.

according to the Ryukyu Shimpo, 83% of Okinawans are against it:

According to the Ryukyu Shimpo 100% are against it, their figures mean nothing and neither do surveys, they base their figures on a sampling of people whom they already know are against the issue and then play with the numbers to ensure it looks fair.

They went to the protesters outside Henoko to take their survey.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yubaru,

According to the Ryukyu Shimpo 100% are against it

Not so. The figure they gave in the article was 83%.

They went to the protesters outside Henoko to take their survey.

Did they really? And did they do the telephone survey outside Henoko too?

The Ryukyu Shimpo and the Okinawa Television Broadcasting (OTV) carried out a telephone poll on the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma relocation issue on May 30 and 31.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posters,

There's a parallel debate taking place on The Washington Times. Read Robert Eldridge's commentary, "The other side to the Okinawa story" (March 31) and a reader's rebuttal of it, "Not many Okinawans want U.S. base" (June 4) and readers' comments that follow.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Did they really? And did they do the telephone survey outside Henoko too?

Never heard of a cell phone?

Nothing the Shimpo, Times, or any other so-called "media" in Okinawa can be seriously considered reliable when it comes to anything related to a base issue.

Impartiality is not in their vocabulary and it would be wise not to so blindly trust anything they put out on the issue.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@ Yubaru JUN. 07, 2015 - 08:24AM JST

their figures mean nothing and neither do surveys, they base their figures on a sampling of people whom they already know are against the issue and then play with the numbers to ensure it looks fair.

Unless you present us any objectifiable information to back up your absurd claims it is appropriate to call your posts insulting anti-Okinawan propaganda.

Interesting enough though it is not only the Okinawan polls that show a growing discontent with the Henoko relocation, but also nation wide Japanese polls.

It seems more and more Japanese are having access to unbiased information about the issue and begin to understand the anti-democratic and discriminatory nature of the GOJ and US policies towards Okinawa.

http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2015/05/10/18444/

Sorry, Yubaru, it's a Ryukyu Shinpo link, but the mentioned national polls are from all major Japanese newspapers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Unless you present us any objectifiable information to back up your absurd claims it is appropriate to call your posts insulting anti-Okinawan propaganda.

Us...get off your high horse and read an Okinawan newspaper, it's common knowledge here.

Never said anything about Japanese gov bias towards Okinawa, that YOU assumed.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Impartiality is not in their vocabulary and it would be wise not to so blindly trust anything they put out on the issue.

At least they are not rude about it, Yubaru-san.

Your use of the adverb "blindly" reveals your own partisan attitude.

i agree with bam_boo:

Interesting enough though it is not only the Okinawan polls that show a growing discontent with the Henoko relocation, but also nation wide Japanese polls.

There is a lot of international support too.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Discontent? I'm discontent at the fact japanese protest the US presence on okinawa, relocation, yet they expect the US to be at the forefront for their defence. Why? Cause they pay billions to DC? what do these people really want?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The U.S. government officials Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga was able to meet during his visit to Washington were: Joseph Young, Director, Office of Japanese Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and Cara Abercrombie, acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.

The meeting took place behind the closed doors with the media all shut out at the request of the U.S. side. So we don't know what was discussed there. Shortly after the meeting, however, the U.S. side suddenly released to departing reporters, even calling to some to stop, an already prepared government statement saying "The United States’ troop presence in Okinawa is fundamental to our treaty commitment to the defense of Japan.” Do they want to say in that statement that "the U.S. troop presence" in Okinawa is necessary because they promised it to Japan?

The language in the statement is befuddling people intentionally. Why don't they say straight that the U.S. Marines are necessary for the defense of Japan? They may not be able to explain why the presence of the U.S. Marines in Okinawa is "fundamental" to the U.S. government's "treaty commitment to the defense of Japan." And that may be the reason why the meeting was asked to be held behind the closed doors. U.S. government officials were apparently afraid of how the discussion might develop to their disadvantage.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

At least they are not rude about it, Yubaru-san.

Rude? They are worse than rude for not doing their jobs are journalists in reporting the news and not creating it.

By the media here not reporting the issues from both sides shows their true colors and keeps the population in the dark which is by far worse as it borders on what life must be like in NK or China, only get to hear and read what the government or press wants them to.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wc626,

Your confusion is understandable.

Japan and Okinawa are two separate entities. Okinawa is part of Japan in a similar way to Eire (Southern Ireland) was considered part of Great Britain. Like Eire, Okinawa has its own distinct culture, including food, drink and language.

The US wants a military presence in Japan - not to protect Japan, but to protect its own interests. Because of SOFA, Japan doesn't have much choice but to comply with this. At least, that seems to be the LDP and Mr Abe's viewpoint.

The Japanese people will not have any more bases at any price. When a few years ago, it was suggested that large contingents of US Marines would relocate in Kyushu, there was an enormous list of names against this compiled almost overnight. Japanese people want to comply with the US demands to host large numbers of US military in Japan, but they want them as far away as possible.

The furthest they can get is Okinawa.

From the end of WWII to 1972, Okinawa was administered by the USA. People drove on the right (i.e. not the left), and used Dollars as currency. Much land was seized by the US after WWII. The area where Futenma base is was five villages. The inhabitants of these villages, as Onaga explained carefully when he visited the USA, were herded out of their houses and placed in concentration camps, their homes, shops and family graves were bulldozed to build the base.

Okinawans had no choice but to put up with this and much, much more.

Japan had none of this.

I am only touching the surface of a very long and involved subject here, but please try to understand that the track of Japan has been very different to that of Okinawa.

At present, Okinawa is still the poorest part of Japan. Recently, it has been enjoying a tourist boom. Areas that have been handed back to Okinawa are making much more money for the prefecture than when they were occupied by US military. Shintoshin 20 times, Hamby Town 15 times and the new Rycom Mall had 500,000 visitors in its opening weekend.

The US military uses nearly 20 per cent of the land in Okinawa. Much of it, like Futenma and Kadena in areas that are perfect for tourist redevelopment.

Okinawans want their land back so that they can continue to enjoy the fruits of tourism and expand on it.

They have been lied to countless times by Tokyo and Washington and, as attendance at recent demonstrations show, they are reaching the end of their rope. They do not wish to put up with it any longer.

Okinawa's history, as has been pointed out, is different to Japan's. Notably its recent history, since 1945. It has been used as a dumping ground for US bases that Japan (Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku and Hokkaido) do not want.

I believe this is what Governor Onaga explained to the Officials from the U.S. State and Defense Departments in Washington.

I find it very strange that we don't know what exactly was said.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Who you are Yubaru to judge Okinawa newspaper? Okinawa people choose there newspaper they like and you can not say this bad. Okinawatimes and ryukyushimpo show exactely what Okinawa think not what you like. If you want different newspaper you want different Okinawa and other Okinawa people.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Wc626 (Jun. 07, 2015 - 06:11PM JST ):

I'm discontent at the fact japanese protest the US presence on okinawa, relocation, yet they expect the US to be at the forefront for their defence. Why? Cause they pay billions to DC?

You are putting the cart before the horse. It was the U.S. government that obliged other nations, including Japan, to pay the so-called "host nation support" to the U.S. coffers for the U.S. to effectively maintain bases in "host nations." In Japan that is called the "sympathy budget," sounding as if Japan were voluntarily doling out money out of sympathy for U.S. service members who are deployed here far from their home.

The U.S. government once thoroughly investigated why history's great empires declined and collapsed. They found the cause was almost always the expansion of territory and along with it the over-expenditure of defense budgets. I suspect that was the motivation behind starting the host nation support scheme to make host nations to partially shoulder the operating costs of U.S. bases planted there.

Among nations, Japan stands out most conspicuously as a very generous contributor.

For ten years from 2001 through 2010, Japan shouldered an average annual sum of $2,274 million, totaling $30 billion since the payment started in 1977. On March 31, 2011, only 20 days after the Great Disasters hit Northeast Japan, the Lower House Committee on Foreign Affairs had to approve a bill to pay $23.5 million for a five-year period from fiscal year 2011, totaling $117.5 million to the U.S. coffers for the upkeep U.S. bases in Japan.

Both governments have started talks on how much Japan can pay for the next 5 years because the last 5-year period expires very shortly

So, Wc626, I hope you can understand now why I say you are putting the cart before the horse.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

this idiot can crow all he likes, the base will be built, like it or not. dont like it move to a different prefecture.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@ Yubaru JUN. 07, 2015 - 04:54PM JST

Us...get off your high horse and read an Okinawan newspaper, it's common knowledge here.

You are the one on a horse defaming Okinawans. The newspapers are made by Okinawans, they are bought by Okinawans and they mirror the Okinawan sentiment.

Okinawans freely choose their newspapers and are fond of them.

To compare the media in Okinawa to the media in North Korea or China is absurd and just shows us how out of touch with the Okinawan reality you are.

You always claim that there are "many" Okinawans with pro-base views, but you have yet to provided us with even one objectifiable piece of evidence to back up your weird claims.

Nobody denies that there are pro-base Okinawans, but they are a tiny and very quiet minority. They could be around 10% or at best 15%, but surely not more and they play absolutely no role in the public discussion in Okinawa.

There is a much larger fluctuating number of Okinawans who would like to see a reduction of the US military, but not at any price. It is mainly due to this part of the population that Tokyo could get so far with its carrot and stick policy, but this seems to be changing as fewer and fewer Okinawans react to the threats from Tokyo to cut funds if outspoken anti-base candidates are elected.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

wtfjapan,

If by "idiot" you are referring to Onaga, either you have never heard him speak, you don't understand Japanese or you have a set of fixed ideas that cocoon you in your own beliefs and protect you from seeing what is there.

Onaga is a very powerful speaker. He doesn't simply stand up and read something written by a speechwriter, he speaks from the heart. His analyses are spot on. He has charisma and he has the ability to see through smokescreen and BS. He doesn't sit in an office somewhere, he gets out. He goes to see people, makes connections, makes things happen. He represents the people who elected him, and he has not broken any election promise. His events are always full to capacity, because he is a really interesting person to listen to and he speaks about things that directly concern people's lives.

In fact Onaga would make a MUCH better PM than Abe!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

BertieWooster: The US wants a military presence in Japan - not to protect Japan, but to protect its own interests.

The US has an interest in not having to come back over the Pacific to haul Japan's ashes out of the fire, if China starts whacking on Honshu after all US bases are withdrawn.

With China's media periodically whipping up anti-Japanese furor, don't say never. It's just for fun and for distraction of the populace now, but maybe the generation of Chinese kids now watching these films on broadcast at home won't be restrained when they rise to positions of power. (Wasn't the number around 200 anti-Japanese films produced in China per year?)

Even with Philippines relying on agreements with US for their mutual security, China is still invading the Spratlies off the Philippine coast, apparently not caring about those agreements.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who you are Yubaru to judge Okinawa newspaper? Okinawa people choose there newspaper they like and you can not say this bad. Okinawatimes and ryukyushimpo show exactely what Okinawa think not what you like. If you want different newspaper you want different Okinawa and other Okinawa people.

People choose, but they have no options. Do you have any idea what the purpose of a newspaper is?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

wtfjapan (un. 08, 2015 - 12:43AM JST),

this idiot can crow all he likes, the base will be built, like it or not. dont like it move to a different prefecture.

You should give your reasons, rather rationally, and not being dictated by emotions, why you think "the base will be built" in Henoko against the wishes of Okinawans. Unless you do, your post is like a dog barking behind someone's back.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

You are the one on a horse defaming Okinawans. The newspapers are made by Okinawans, they are bought by Okinawans and they mirror the Okinawan sentiment.

I have never defamed Okinawa, quite the contrary, seems to me that you have an over-active imagination when reading my posts. And btw Okinawan newspapers are notorious for not printing "news". There is much that transpires in Okinawa and Japan for that matter, that never reaches the light of day in the press.

He doesn't simply stand up and read something written by a speechwriter,

Wrong again, I do happen to know that he does in fact have speech writer.

You know what is hypocritically funny here, all these folks complaining about the military here fail to see the tens of thousands of Okinawan's and Japanese that rush to go on base for the annual festivals held on the major installations.

They eat the food, drink the beer, take home tons of Anthony's pizza, climb over static displays, get their pictures taken, make friends with the military folks, more importantly spend their money, and make friends.

And people here want everyone to believe that "all" Okinawan's/Japanese are against the bases? Like these people Monday through Friday protest against the very places their are spending their money and having a great time?

If people truly were against the bases one would think that logically no one would show up when they throw the doors open for the festivities, yet tens of thousands come, year in and year out.

Just like the people who work on base and are members of Zenchuro, the anti-base union. Try working for any business or company in the real world and tell your boss you want his business to be closed down. Illogical, but the reality in Okinawa.

It's no wonder why Kasumigaseki types are befuddled by the actions of the people here, vs the words of the politicians.

Actions speak louder than words.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The US has an interest in not having to come back over the Pacific to haul Japan's ashes out of the fire, if China starts whacking on Honshu after all US bases are withdrawn.

Pro arms lobby propaganda. Next...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaru (un. 08, 2015 - 07:41AM JST):

I have never defamed Okinawa, quite the contrary

Really? But your support of the U.S. government's urging Tokyo to press ahead with the Henoko relocation plan, regardless of Okinawa's wishes and feelings, is nothing but the defamation of Okinawans. Why do you think it better for Okinawans to be subjugated to the U.S. as its permanent military colony, unable to decide what to do about this excessive U.S. military footprint?

There may be "tens of thousands of Okinawans and Japanese that rush to go on" to see "annual festivals held on major installations" such as in Futenma as well as in Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture. But you can't cite these nonchalant Okinawans and Japanese mainlanders as evidence for your claim that the majority of Okinawans and Japanese mainlanders are in support of the Henoko relocation plan. "Tens of thousands" of people who go to see the Futenma festival are a fringe group compared with the whole population of 1.42 million.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yubaru sure the Okinawa people want to visit the bases which is on THEIR land and they eat the junk food. However that does not mean they approve of the bases. You continue to disrespect the Okinawa people. It is clear they do not want a new base. A base that will destroy the last living coral reefs in Okinawa and lead to the extinction of the Dugongs. You defend the bases too hard, you must be SOFA or at least an US military retiree. You say the American line without fail, so you must be on their payroll. Look around Okinawa, off of the US bases and tell me what you see. The bases are a terrible burden on the people of Okinawa. Look at American housing and look at Okinawa housing. Have you ever lived in an Okinawa apartment? Not one that is big and inspected but is small and dirty. The population of Okinawa is growing and we need the space to live. The functions of the new Okinawa base can be done by ships. Not sitting duck bases...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@bertie&voice. Thanks for the informative reply.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I have never defamed Okinawa, quite the contrary, seems to me that you have an over-active imagination when reading my posts.

Sorry, but if you say Okinawans are not intelligent enough to understand that their media is like the media in North Korea or China, or if you're trying to tell us that they're getting "brainwashed" and just don't get it, you are sitting on a very high horse and are defaming Okinawans.

Okinawa is a small island and this is defining in many respects, but Okinawans know very well why they like their newspapers and are perfectly able to make up their minds without some smartypants telling them what is right and what is wrong.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Okinawa is a small island and this is defining in many respects, but Okinawans know very well why they like their newspapers and are perfectly able to make up their minds without some smartypants telling them what is right and what is wrong.

So you would prefer that people keep their heads in the sand. Right, I get it. You know little of Okinawa, that much is obvious.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

bam_boo,

Sorry, but if you say Okinawans are not intelligent enough to understand that their media is like the media in North Korea or China, or if you're trying to tell us that they're getting "brainwashed" and just don't get it, you are sitting on a very high horse and are defaming Okinawans.

Quite right!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The USA empire has spoken. Do it the USA way or hit the highway (get lost) !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You folks do not realize how hypocritical some of the things you are saying sound here, you cover for the Okinawan media by justifying their actions by saying it's what "Okinawans" want. Yet they have no options other than the two local papers that mirror each other.

Yet if this was an American or foreign media outlet you would be screaming for heads to roll because "news" is not being reported accurately. You give the media here a pass because you dont like the military and dont want Okinawan's knowing that maybe there is some good to them being here. So you advocate a type of censorship to keep them in the dark.

However again if a foreign media outlet refused to report on both sides of a story you would complain to high heaven.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Governor Takeshi Onaga and his team are wasting time talking to US senators, representatives and officials. Most of them will back US government policy and opinions. They do not want to be seen as unpatriotic.

During the Vietnam War, thousands of anti-war protesters and the news media in USA successfully publicize the evils and atrocities committed by some US troops, the horrors of US bombing, the huge costs to US taxpayers, etc. This painted the war in a very negative picture.

During the Vietnam War, the unpopular USA president LB Johnson announced he would not seek a second term as president. Richard Nixon won the USA presidency mainly by promising to pull out from the very unpopular Vietnam War.

Governor Onaga's team should be talking to non-governmental groups to publicize the violent crimes committed against defenseless school girls, the constant noises, sufferings endured by the people, armed robberies and violent crimes committed by drunken soldiers, the burden on US taxpayers, etc.

They should be trying to get support for the human rights of the people of Okinawa from famous people like Bill Gates, Tim Cook, etc and those groups who are already campaigning for the Rohingyas, human rights, etc. They should persuade the news media like CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, etc to do news stories on them by offering them a lot of help in filming in Okinawa, etc.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yubaru,

We are talking about Gov. Onaga's visit to Washington. Okinawans were eager to see what would come of this visit as regards the Futenma issue. The two local papers, The Ryukyu Shimpo and The Okinawa Times, have been reporting the story from this local viewpoint.

Which of the major media in Tokyo was doing so? Let alone U.S. media? And you keep swiping at the two papers, saying "'news' is not being reported accurately."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh and lastly, I never said they were not intelligent, you are making that assumption,

Sorry, but if you say Okinawans are not intelligent enough to understand that their media is like the media in North Korea or China, or if you're trying to tell us that they're getting "brainwashed" and just don't get it, you are sitting on a very high horse and are defaming Okinawans.

I agree that Okinawan's and Japanese are very intelligent, so give them the right to use that intelligence and trust in their judgment to make an educated decision by giving them ALL the information about the issue and not just the one sided version coming from the local press.

BTW they are brainwashed in a manner of speaking if you have ever been in a school or around kids or people educated here they trust quite a bit in what they were educated about, but they know little if anything about ,(for example) issues related to WWII and Japanese atrocities, you give Okinawan's a pass on their press for not giving all the information and then complain about the government and it's lack of transparency.

So because they never read it or heard about it they dont believe it happened, because their government or media never "told" them. To me you are guilty of making a decision about a topic only knowing part of the story and not all of it, Japanese trust their media outlets to provide them with accurate information, but accuracy does not always mean entirety. Seems rather hypocritical to me.

Give the Okinawan's and Japanese here the same right to fair and balanced reporting and then let them choose!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The best place for a US base is Senkakku

The Senkaku islands were American territory after the war. And when they were American territory, China and Korea didn't publicly dispute their ownership. But once the islands were given back to Japan, that of course changed. Korea and China respect America, but they detest Japan.

Okinawa, and all of Japan for that matter, became American territory after the war. And the bases in Japan were built or converted at this time. The bases serve two functions, to defend American and Japanese interests in the Pacific, and also as a reminder of the consequences of starting wars which kill tens of millions of people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Around Futenma, some think the people of Nago are being selfish. "People think: 'This base here is dangerous, so why are you prioritising the sea over people's lives?'" said one lady living near the base.

I heard some people say the same thing about why they supported a nuclear reactor (Fukushima) in their backyard. The same people told me they wished they did not blindly believe the government. Hindsight is a great teacher.

Bases in Korea can be used to reach Northern China quickly, the issue is the southern area. Why not ask Taiwan or the Philippines help in the relocation. I can't see that locating bases in Okinawa is solely for the defence of Japan--locating bases at Henako helps with the defence of Asia. For Japan, it would better to locate bases in Kyushu which is only a few minutes flight to Shanghai.

There are other good locations in the south which do not destroy nature.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru,

Give the Okinawan's and Japanese here the same right to fair and balanced reporting and then let them choose!

Glad you finally see the point!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Osaka_Doug: For Japan, it would better to locate bases in Kyushu which is only a few minutes flight to Shanghai.

There's already a base in Kyushu, at Sasebo.

And, "a few minutes flight to Shanghai" also means 'a few minutes FROM Shanghai to Kyushu', as Chinese military no doubt are aware of.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Yubaru JUN. 09, 2015 - 07:48AM JST

Other then you, Yubaru, I don't accuse the Okinawan press of propaganda or lies. What I say is that the Okinawan press is looking at things from an Okinawan perspective and that is one dominated by being discriminated, bullied, power harassed and cheated on for decades.

Okinawans and their press have all the right in the world to fight against the hypocrisy in Tokyo and the US by reporting the news from their viewpoint, which is not propaganda or misinformation.

Mentioning Japanese revisionism in relation to Okinawa is just turning your own argumentation upside down, because within Japan Okinawans are the most outspoken critics of nationalistic tendencies. The anti-base movement in Okinawa is also an anti-revisionist and anti-militarist movement and Okinawans know better then anybody else in Japan how devastating the effect of militarism can be.

As a footnote, the few clearly pro-base Okinawans I've ever heard of are usually right-wing nationalists that deny Japanese WW2 atrocities. Great company!

Within Japan the Okinawan press is the most outspoken and open one when Japanese atrocities are concerned and with linking this topic you are just scoring an own goal.

You mistake the friendly and comforting human attitude of Okinawans as some form of US base endorsement, which just shows how few real contact you seem to have with Okinawans outside of your small pro-base world.

Okinawans surely have learned to live with the dominance of the US military on positive terms and that is solely due to their friendly and curious nature, not because they appreciate being a US military colony. If Okinawans were to perceive the US military on their island as entirely negative they would have to live in a never-ending nightmare.

You are accusing Okinawans of being brainwashed and misinformed only because you oppose their agenda of democracy and self-determination. You seem to find it OK that they are discriminated against and are not able to have a say on crucial decisions that determine how the future of their prefecture will look like. This apparently anti-democratic viewpoint discredits all the talk about "propaganda press" and "brainwashing".

Talking about "brainwashing", knowing how cunningly efficient the US military drill is, could it be that there are more potentially "brainwashed" marines in Okinawa then "brainwashed" locals?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Okinawa Times is still running a series of verifiable articles about the Onaga visit. According to the June 9 edition, the people Onaga and his entourage met while visiting the U.S. were 15 in all.

In Hawaii, they met Governor David Ige, 2 Senators and 1 Congressman. In Washington, they met 3 Senators, 2 Congressmen, 4 think-tank researchers;. They met Joseph Young, Director, Office of Japanese Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and Cara Abercrombie, acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. Senior officials above their ranks were not available for they were on tour to attend The 14th Asia Security Summit (29-31 May 2015) in Singapore.

In Hawaii, they held a news conference with reporters from 6 local newspapers attending. In Washington, they had a chance to talk with Washington Post Publisher Frederick Rian and were also interviewed by members of the U.S. Congressional Research Service. On the final day of the visit, reporters from 5 international media took part in a news conference. Onaga was also interviewed alone by a U.S. radio network.

A fringe group may criticize him by saying he spent too much taxpayers' money but came home almost empty-handed. I don't think so. Washington is closely listening to him by way of the officials who met him and carefully watching the trend of Okinawa's public opinion, though trying to appear to be nonchalant.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@JBird “China will then claim that that country started the war.”

Just like some Japanese say that China started the war quoting The Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937? They never discuss why Japanese troops were there in the first place.

“China will just keep pushing, stealing, and antagonizing until finally some country stands up to them.”

Someone who says Chinese are not good at making a story suggests as follows;

While "Vietnam has so far occupied 29 reefs in the Nansha Islands, the Philippines nine, while the Chinese mainland has only taken real control of eight" is a verifiable fact, that fact itself does not tell a story. China has a story that is different from what most of the Western media that support Vietnam and the Philippines (for geopolitical reason, obviously) want the world to know.

Western media would have described the fact like: "Vietnam has steadfastly held on to 29 reefs and the Philippines nine, while China has managed to seize control of eight."

This editorial could have said: "Of all the islands and reefs that China lost after the Second World War and the Chinese civil war that followed immediately, China has tried to hang on to only eight of them despite pressure from the West, while Vietnam has taken control of 29 and the Philippines nine."

Interesting, isn’t it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ voiceofokinawa

Thanks for the useful information. Looks like it was a very productive trip for Onaga. Even the US officials were putting up their diplomats pokerface one can imagine that behind the scenes they were trying to keep things low key as it could become a major problem for them if the US and international press would seriously pick up the issue.

I believe that Okinawas lobbying in Washington will continue, but it'll only make sense if it can get influential allies on board to help its cause and generate some public interest in the US.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Glad you finally see the point!

Me? You really need to read my posts again, you are satisfied with the status-quo in the reporting done here, I am not. If you think I see the point then you are missing the point.

Give the people ALL the news and information, dont influence the news or information by only being one-sided in the debate.

Then let them choose. But remember it isnt just Okinawan's who have a voice in this issue, it's all Japanese (including the Okinawan's and people like me as well)

If you can understand that, then YOU finally get the point.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yubaru,

Give the people ALL the news and information, dont influence the news or information by only being one-sided in the debate.

Totally agree!

The Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo present the facts that NHK and the Abe controlled media chooses to ignore. Okinawans are able to see both sides and make up their own minds.

The people living in Japan do not have this opportunity. Unless they can get hold of a copy of the Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo - or watch the BBC news, which has been reporting on the violence of Japan's Coast Guard in Henoko.

Is this is a problem to you?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Bertie

Sympathise, as always with your views. But both the Okinawa Times and the Ryukyu Shimpo are readily available online for anyone interested. Problem is, not many are interested....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In theory I support Okinawan independence from Japan with a full withdrawal of US forces from Okinawa. However as everyone knows, an independent and small Okinawa would almost instantly have to face Chinese hegemony and bullying, and potentially an invasion. Better the devil you know as far as the Okinawans are concerned.

As unideal as the current arrangement is, it is the best that can be done for now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

thats not for usa to decide. the people will decide weather its fundamental to security. bc people decide what the land should be

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

In theory I support Okinawan independence from Japan with a full withdrawal of US forces from Okinawa. However as everyone knows, an independent and small Okinawa would almost instantly have to face Chinese hegemony and bullying, and potentially an invasion. Better the devil you know as far as the Okinawans are concerned.

As unideal as the current arrangement is, it is the best that can be done for now.

Well, if you look at Okinawan history, the only entities that have invaded it are Japan, and the US. China, back in its Imperial days, actually had good relations with the Ryukyu Kingdom. The Kingdom was actually more favored than Japan in China's view. In theory, Okinawans don't even want independence, at least, not yet. They just don't want US bases to be there. Do you think America really can't defend Japan from Guam? Or how about this, move all of the US bases in Okinawa to another area of Japan on the mainland, and let America defend Japan from there. It should really be that simple. But when reasons unrelated to the defense of Japan come in play, it becomes quite shady and yet perfectly clear for Okinawans about what this is truly about.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

ThePBot,

Yes, what you write is quite true. Okinawa, well, Ryukyu, has always had a good working relationship with China. It still has. There are those who would like to make it appear otherwise in an attempt to justify the huge foreign military presence on this island.

But therein lies the problem, I think. As Onaga is saying, Okinawans are willing to tolerate a certain number of US bases provided they don't get in the way and disrupt life. It's just that there is far too great a US military presence here compared to the size of the island and compared to the rest of Japan. And they DO disrupt life. This last week drunken violence has reappeared and no less than six marines have been charged, one of them punched out a local guy and stole 4,000 yen from him.

Futenma should have been closed long ago, as was promised. It is built on stolen land and right in the middle of a highly populated area.

And building another large base in the North is just an insult. So many promises have been broken by Tokyo and Washington that many Okinawans don't believe that Futenma will ever be closed. The number of bases is already way too many and they do not want yet another new base in Henoko, as has been reported by on Japan Today, "U.S. tells Okinawa governor new base 'fundamental' to security."

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Akura(Jun. 10, 2015 - 03:56AM JST):

Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know? The Japanese wisdom similarly says "Better a familiar demon than an unfamiliar god."

No, neither is better than the other, I should say. Both must be rejected, especially if the devil you don't know is as fearful as Washington touts. But Okinawa, as a sovereignty, has had a very cordial relationship with the devil you say you don't know for 400 years and so knows better. So, for heaven's sake, please don't try to teach us.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo present the facts that NHK and the Abe controlled media chooses to ignore. Okinawans are able to see both sides and make up their own minds. The people living in Japan do not have this opportunity. Unless they can get hold of a copy of the Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo - or watch the BBC news, which has been reporting on the violence of Japan's Coast Guard in Henoko. Is this is a problem to you?

On one side you say the media chooses to ignore facts and then you say the people in Okinawa are able to see both sides? That makes no sense.

The people who do not live around the bases, which includes roughly 75% or more of the population of the main island of Okinawa, have NO information other than what they read in the press.

The "problem" as you conveniently forget to see is that the media only reports one side and the people base their opinions upon it.

There is a huge problem that you continue to overlook.

Leave mainland out of the picture here for discussion purposes, and you get back to the point that the media is one sided, you agree that the population of Okinawa should have access to both sides of the story, yet you fail to acknowledge that the local press only shows the negative and not anything positive.

You agree to give Okinawan's all the information, but how do they get it if no source that the Okinawan's typically see or read are willing to publish or report on it?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yubaru, I would like to know what part of the US government you are employed. My bet is you are part of a team to promote the US bases. While I am just a person and a victim of US aggression. Japan did what it did but America is suppose to be the "good" guys. That is just a bold face lie now as it has always been a lie. The USA wants to control the world for its own purposes and use to have colonies. The Philippines and Okinawa were colonies and subjugated for the glory of the American Empire. You say the people of Okinawa are "brainwashed" but we know the past, present and future. Even today Okinawa is under American military occupation. Today Washington gets its cronies in Tokyo to do their dirty work. You are so mad because the people of Okinawa have gone to Washington to see redress for their complaints. Going to Tokyo is a waste of time because Washington controls it through Abe and his LDP which is neither liberal or democratic. Outside of Washington there is only the United Nations. The harder America squeezes the Okinawa the more that will slip through your fingers. Soon it will not be the new base but all of the bases. Perhaps the Ryukyu Islands would be better off on their own. The USA can stop this by canceling the new base and moving all of the marines off Okinawa. Not even Guam and Hawaii will take them. Relocated them within the USA and if they are needed send them out on a Navy task force.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yubaru, I would like to know what part of the US government you are employed. My bet is you are part of a team to promote the US bases.

Don't work for the US government nor any entity related to them either. Zero connections.

While I am just a person and a victim of US aggression

How long will you play the victim card? You were fortunate to make a better life in the country you complain so much about and fail to realize that because of where you live it gives you the right to free speech, which you never would have had if Japan had won in WWII.

Even today Okinawa is under American military occupation.

No it is not, anyone who thinks so is living in a time capsule. Japan is a sovereign nation.

The harder America squeezes the Okinawa

You have it wrong here too, it's not America squeezing Okinawa, it's the Japanese government. The Japanese government could tell the US "NO" anytime it wants, but doesn't and for good reason too.

If you continue to think it's the US you will never find a solution.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@ Yubaru JUN. 12, 2015 - 07:31AM JST

Even today Okinawa is under American military occupation.

No it is not, anyone who thinks so is living in a time capsule. Japan is a sovereign nation.

So then how does it come that the Japanese government, in close coordination with the US, is forcing discriminating policies onto Okinawans against their democratically expressed will?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

bam_boo JUN. 13, 2015 - 08:09AM JST So then how does it come that the Japanese government, in close coordination with the US, is forcing discriminating policies onto Okinawans against their democratically expressed will?

Gov. Onaga and people in Okinawa wants to transfer the problem of US military bases elsewhere, specifically from Okinawa to the rest of Japan or elsewhere. Even though it is the Japanese government that desires U.S. military bases, there is not a single example anywhere in Japan where residential areas are burdened by bases and civilians live adjacent to shooting range and runways as there is in Okinawa. If the J-government desires the US-Japan Security Treaty along with the stationing of the U.S. military, that is fine. If the purpose of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty is to protect the peace of all Japanese nationals, then it is only natural that this is recognized by having the burden of the Treaty shared by the entire people of Japan. Every Japanese person, whether of a rightist or leftist beliefs shares the same benefits that result from forcing U.S. military bases onto Okinawans. Are these people in Honshu not guilty when they oppose relocation of U.S. military bases to Japan, thereby protecting their own interests?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So then how does it come that the Japanese government, in close coordination with the US, is forcing discriminating policies onto Okinawans against their democratically expressed will?

Ask the Japanese government, and the last part is based upon ignorance of the reality rather than anything else.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ sfjp330 JUN. 13, 2015 - 09:11AM JST

Gov. Onaga and people in Okinawa wants to transfer the problem of US military bases elsewhere, specifically from Okinawa to the rest of Japan or elsewhere.

I think this is slightly different. Okinawan people want to have a say on the crucial issues concerning their homeland. They don't want to transfer any problem anywhere else.

Are these people in Honshu not guilty when they oppose relocation of U.S. military bases to Japan, thereby protecting their own interests?

Yes, they are. No question. But up to now the Japanese government has never directly asked the Japanese people about the US base issue and polls indicate that sympathy for Okinawas cause is growing rapidly in the rest of Japan, so we'll have to see what the Japanese people really want.

@ Yubaru JUN. 13, 2015 - 06:44PM JST

Ask the Japanese government,

Like about the secret agreements that were made between the Japanese government and the US as part of the reversion in 1972?

Even it concerns their homeland Okinawan have never been told the whole story and therefor distrust Tokyo and the US . History proves that they have good reason to believe that Tokyo and Washington are united against them.

And you are badly informed if you believe the US does not use all its influence to force its interests onto whoever. Fact is that the US military want's Henoko and the Japanese government knuckles under. There are three parties involved and to pretend it is solely an inner Japanese problem is naiv. I would call it two bully boys engaged in power harassment of a weak third.

and the last part is based upon ignorance of the reality rather than anything else.

Are you talking about the democratically expressed will of the Okinawan people? Ignorance of what reality?

You are the one ignoring a crystal clear reality by pretending there were any ambiguities about the Okinawan stance. There are not and in non of the various threads here have you ever managed to provide us with one piece of objective evidence for your absurd claims.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Are you talking about the democratically expressed will of the Okinawan people? Ignorance of what reality?

You try to sound like you know what you are talking about but come up empty, big time.

Just who are the Okinawan people? Huh? You have no idea about what you are talking about. A guy wins an election with less than 60% of eligible voters actually showing up to vote (apathy) and then only winning by less than 100,000 votes and you call that the "expressed will"?

Your ignorance of Okinawa, the population, and the situation.

I have forgotten more about this situation than you have ever or will ever learn grasshopper.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So then please please tell us where can we get an idea of your "Okinawa reality", Yubaru?

Where can we find those pro-base Okinawans in noticeable quantities? Where do they publish their views? Where can we view their demonstrations?

I'm open to any discourse about Okinawan public opinion, but except for your derogatory comments on Okinawan democratic elections I didn't get one substantial piece of information from you.

To help you with information about the opinion of the Okinawan people here some links:

A poll by NHK from 2012, 72% against the Henoko relocation, 78% for a reduction of the US bases in Okinawa: https://www.nhk.or.jp/bunken/summary/research/report/2012_07/20120701.pdf

A poll by Ryukyu Shinpo and OTV, Jan. 2015, 83% for stopping the relocation, 77% support canceling the former governor’s approval of landfill in Henoko: http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-243697-storytopic-53.html

A poll by Ryukyu Shinpo and OTV, Aug. 2012, 80% for stopping the relocation: http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-230631-storytopic-271.html

Okinawa Times, Apr. 2015, support for Onaga against the Henoko relocation 83%: http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article.php?id=110601

Asahi Shinbun, Jan. 2014, 66% against the relocation: http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASG1W4JDHG1WUZPS005.html

Then in regard to elections:

... non of the potential governors in the last three elections ran on a pro-base, pro-Henoko relocation ticket

... all LDP candidates failed in the last representatives election in Okinawa (a first even in Okinawa)

... the anti base candidate won the two last Nago mayor elections

... nearly all mayors and city councils in Okinawa (20 of the 24 mayors) are clearly agains the relocation

... and then there were at least three huge demonstrations with several 10 thousand participants for a reduction of the US bases and against the Henoko relocation during the last four years

Don't think there is any doubt about what Okinawans want.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No more on this thread....censor zombies....and bamboo do me a favor and quit the stalking like a little bitch.

Moderator: You can have 24 hours off to learn some manners.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Constructing a replacement facility for the Futenma Air Station in Henoko is nothing but an act of selling one's sovereign soil to a foreign power. The U.S. side says that, unless Futenma is relocated to Henoko, it will remain at the current site forever. As I have repeatedly said, Futenma sits on stolen property, because the lands it sits on were confiscated illegally from private landholders.

Washington knows this well enough and wants the base to be relocated to Henoko, thus vindicating themselves across the board. This is why one can call the Henoko relocation plan "base laundry."

If the Henoko relocation should come true, the new base will certainly remain there forever, let alone many other bases. The dealing is thus tantamount to selling part of sovereign soil to a foreign country.

So I can't understand why the Abe government, instead of guarding its own people and sovereignty, is so eager to press ahead with the relocation plan. Is it because the Abe government and the sycophantic bureaucrats are fearful of Washington's wrath by not following its dictation and order? Don't they know their action is no different from an act of betrayal against not only Okinawa but also the nation as a whole?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites